ABSTRACT

According to the World Bank, Indonesia has one of the highest prevalence rates of bullying in the world. This study sought to determine the current rates of bullying as well as peer aggression, among school-aged children in Indonesia. Nearly 600 students (n = 559) from South Sulawesi, aged 11-16, completed a peer aggression and well-being questionnaire, and provided drawings and narratives describing interactions with peers. Results showed that nearly two in three (64.6%) students reported harmful peer aggression and bullying, while 14.2% had not experienced victimisation or perpetrated aggression against others. Descriptions of student interactions at school provided by participants included narratives and drawings that depicted happy students playing sports as well as bullying, name-calling, exclusion and cyberbullying. Participants made reference to technological influences, such as smart-phones and the infiltration of western cultural norms such as hanging out at the mall, cafes and the movies. For many participants the current generation of youth was viewed in a negative vein, as lazy young people who smoked, took drugs and consumed alcohol. While inroads are being made by the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) to curb the violence experienced by children, more needs to be done to support KPAI initiatives and campaigns so that Indonesia can be more effective in improving the lives of its youngest citizens.